Conservative Group Tries to Make Obama’s Aunt an Immigration Issue

By Caitlin Taylor

Feb 3, 2009 9:14am

ABC News’ Jason Ryan reports that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement has no comment on the arrest request filed by the conservative group ALIPAC (Americans for Legal Immigration) for President Obama to honor his proclamations about upholding the rule of law deporting his Aunt Zeituni Onyango.

"Auntie Zeituni," as President Obama refers to her in his book Dreams From My Father, is the half sister of Barack Obama Sr., the President’s late father. Last Fall, she was discovered by media outlets to be living in public housing in Boston, her 2000 request for asylum having been denied by immigration officials in 2004. She has since moved to Cleveland and renewed her request for asylum.

"President Obama has promised the American public that his administration will honor the principles of open government, the Constitution, and the Rule of Law," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "Obama must either deport his aunt or destroy his own credibility by showing her favoritism."

The Justice Department’s Office of Immigration Review said Onyango has an immigration appeals court hearing on April 1, at 8:30 am in Boston.

Days before the president election, on October 31, 2008, the Department of Homeland Security instituted a new rule requiring approval before federal agents nationwide could arrest fugitive immigrants, given "negative media or congressional interest," according to a newly disclosed federal document obtained by The Associated Press.  That directive has since been lifted.

– jpt

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